Re: Tampa gone
posted at 10/4/2011 7:53 PM EDT
In Response to Re: Tampa gone
[QUOTE]In Response to Re: Tampa gone : I think even moon would agree, when he predicted Tampa wouldn't go away it didn't include such a collapse by the Sox to allow it to happen. Congrats for the prediction but we blew it. I really hope our team and especially Theo learn from this and come back strong. We need an ancor in the middle of our rotation and to get rid of Lackey to rebuild our staff.
Posted by craze4sox[/QUOTE]
No, I didn't project a collapse, but losses are losses and I did think the AL East would beat each other up enough that the WC would have more losses than normal. I didn't expect 91. If the Sox had won 92-94, like I projected the WC team to win this year (although I thought it would be NY, LAA, or a central team), I'd have still said TB did not "go away". I also would not have predicted TB's awful start to 2011. Their "collapse" was in April.
Some tried to twist what "go away" means, but I think the majority of fans takes that to mean the team would compete and stick around to the end of the season, give a good fight, and maybe squeek into the playoffs depending on other team's performances and perhaps letdowns.
The Rays lost a lot of players from last year's team...
657 Crawford (.851 OPS)
582 Ca. Pena (.732)
532 Bartlett (.675, but steady SS play)
309 W. Aybar (.654)
142 Navarro (.528)
140 G. Kapler (.578)
96 Burrell, 69 Blalock, 46 Hawpe, and 25 Baldelli
205 M. Garza (15-10 3.91)
62 Soriano ( 45 svs 1.73)
62 Cormier (3.92)
60 Benoit (1.34)
55 Balfour (2.28)
48 Wheeler (3.35)
45 Choate (4.23)
21 Qualls (5.57)
16 Ekstrom (3.31)
How many of these players did as good or better in 2011 than 2010?
The Rays seem to be a jinx on players who leave.
How did the Rays stay almost as good as last year's team after losing all this talent? (96 to 91 wins) Well, they replaced...
Crawford with more PAs by Joyce and young players like Fuld(.673) & Jennings (.805).
Pena with Kotchman (.800) & Dan Johnson (1 Big HR)
Bartlett with Sean Rodriguez (.679) moving from 2B & Zobrist (.822) moving to 2B from RF (Joyce). They also tried Brignac and E. Johnson.
Aybar with Damon (.743)
Garza with Hellickson (13-10 2.95), Alex Cobb (3-2 3.42), & Matt Moore
Soriano with (FA) Farnsworth (25 svs 2.18 ERA)
The whole bullpen with guys from the Bartlett trade:
Cruz (49 IP 5-0 3.88), Ramos (44 IP 3.92) & Gomes (37 IP 2.92)
(FA) Peralta (68 IP 2.93 /.0916 WHIP)
(FA) Howell (31 IP 6.16)
Adam Russell (33 IP 3.03)
Jake McGee (22 y/o) (28 IP 4.50)
Alexander Torres (23) (8 IP 3.38)
Compared to last winter, the Rays lose ahrdly anyone important this winter:
Manny (paid only 88K)
J. Cruz ($850K)
BJ Upton is up for his 3rd and final arb. He made $4.825M in 2011. I think the Rays will look to trade him this offseason. They will replace him with Desmond Jennings full time and should improve in CF while saving about $5M at the same time.
With the $4.5M saved from Upton, $5.5M from Damon, plus the money never spent on Manny ($2M) and the little bit on Kotchman, Peralta, and Cruz, I'd say TB will have about $14M to fill these slots:
1B (Kotchman .800)
DH (Damon .743)
RP (Peralta & Cruz: 117 IP ~3.30 ERA)
They will probably pick up 1 low budget elief pitcher and give more IP to Ramos, Gomes, Russell, and McGee. They may also convert a starter to long relief, since they have 8 quality starters now:
M. Moore (22)
W. Davis (25)
A. Cobb (23)
They may also deal a starter, but I think they hold onto Shields until next winter. My guess is maybe Niemann or Sonnanstine, although Andy won't bring much in return.
The Rays are pretty deep at catcher too, but no great ones:
Shoppach (31) $3.2M option (300K bouout)
J. Jaso (27)
I guess they may trade Shoppach too.
It's hard not to admire how this team is set up for the future. All their starters are under team control for 3+ years! Longoria has the most team-friendly contract in MLB.
TB will not "go away" for quite some time!